Three new green minibus routes are up for grabs by government tender – two serving Sheung Shui and a new circular route around Central/Sheung Wan/Caine Road.
In Sheung Shui, one new route links Queen’s Hill Estate to North District Hospital, a 6.8km journey costing a maximum of HK$9.4, which will see five minibuses running at 10-minute intervals. The new route will replace a long walk at either the hospital or Queen’s Hill end – the quickest public transport option at present is around 45 minutes with a 25-minute walk involved. The new route should take around half an hour.
Sheung Shui will also see a twice-hourly bus serving Wa Shan Tsuen: just one bus is required to bid for this service at a maximum fare of HK$5.7.
Meanwhile in Central, a 6.4km circular route using a minimum of three minibuses will ply from the western end of Hollywood Road, through Po Yan Street and New Street on to Queen’s Road West, up Eastern Street and Hospital Road to Caine Road, Arbuthnot Road, Lower Albert Road and Garden Road, before circling back west along Connaught Road Central, Jubilee Street and Queen’s Road Central/West to Hollywood Road. That route will cost a maximum of $9.4 and buses will run every 15-30 minutes.
Transport Department (TD) says the Sheung Shui bus services must include at least one “low floor” bus within a year of the service start. No such requirement applies to the Central service.
Interested parties should apply before 12 noon on 24 December.
Green minibuses are a popular mode in Hong Kong, carrying 1.5 million passengers a day in 2019, according to TD, with 3,341 minibuses serving 362 routes as at March 2020.